Life Lately – May

Our cute out door space (all thanks to me Dad). Its quite long but I’ve literally got my back against the opposite wall here. Terrace house in a city kind of shape. It gets full sun at mid-day for two hours so I’m glad my Dad is awake to water and mist it. ☺️

I’m staying with my Bloke mostly but come home after seven days and stay for a few days for some space, while my Dad stays with his partner. It’s a clever way to isolate without going a bit nuts after being around someone literally 24/7. Lots of antibacterial spray used of course!

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s appetite disappears in the hot weather? Two great ways to get enough protein when you don’t want to cook is to either make a salad with tuna or tofu (I get Tofoo Smoked when I can find it) and various nuts and some chickpeas OR you can put salad on corn or oat crackers with a cheese (or cashew nut) spread and red pesto.

I bought these wonderful summer palazzo pants from Matalan. They are so light weight, have a cute paper bag waist band and are as comfy as PJ’s but look rather stylish! They aren’t really high waisted but do define (create) my waist quite well.

I got a text from my Drs saying I’d be contacted by the council and a few days later a lovely lady (who was dealing with a pigeon that had flown into the call centre?!) told me I was on the ‘extremely vulnerable’ list because of my MS I’m guessing. She made sure I was coping okay, mentally and physically and asked if I wanted a food package. I explained about being veggie and my food intolerances and decided to opt out of getting one sent.

The one thing I did need and did get sorted was to be put on a list for Ocado and Tesco to get the ‘vulnerable’ home delivery slots to order of all their specialist foods and brands. Hurray!

A box did turn up at my house though by mistake. My Dad (not being privy to the phone conversation) just graciously accepted it. The things I used were pasta sauce (I had some free-from pasta in the back of the cupboard), potatoes, oranges and apples (there was also tinned veg and rice but we kept them in the box as we were already stocked up). We donated the box to Tesco’s food bank! I’m going online to cancel the boxes.

From desperately trying to tell teachers, bosses, Drs, staff at the job centre and the benefits agency that I was chronically ill/disabled before it was finally acknowledged in my mid-thirties, to having a lovely lady from the council phoning me and asking how I was feeling and saying how she could help, was quite astounding! I got all emotional when the box arrived actually.

Dad found these in ‘the big Tesco’ months ago and saved them as a treat for my birthday. I was so chuffed! They all have perfectly balanced flavours that aren’t to strong or too sweet.

How are you all doing?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Can This Jackfruit Ready-meal Really Work?

I decided to get this ready meal as an introduction to Jack Fruit. I’ve tried other things from Tescos Plant Chef range and been woefully underwhelmed so this was more of an experiment for me.

Cooked (supposedly) after only 35 minutes in a pre-heated oven…

It looks so watery! Lets poor some of that away and sprinkle some nutritional yeast on the top. I hope the sauce is a nice flavour and that there’s a load of jackfruit underneath the potatoes….

Oh shit, it’s stone cold in the middle!

After another 15 minutes in the oven…

This tastes really nice! The BBQ sauce has a strong flavour and isn’t overwhelmingly sweet. Some of the potato is crispy with a nice flavour and the red pepper works well, not sure where the onions are though. I wish there were more Jackfruit, although there are some big chunks underneath the potato.

The texture of the Jackfruit is like pulled pork and it’s really absorbed the flavour of the sauce. It cooks much better in big chunks as the smaller pieces are a bit mushy.

The answer to ‘Can this Jackfruit Ready-meal really work?’ is Not without a lot of faffing about!

Rating 2/5

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

The Stuck at Home Blog Tag

The Rules

• Thank the person that nominated you (I found this tag on Cranky Autistic and decided to join in!)

• Answer all the questions below

• Pingback to the creator: Ellyn at Allonsythornraxxbooks

• Nominate five other book bloggers to do this tag (or just leave it as a free-for-all)

What Are You Currently Reading? 

Tina Turner’s autobiography My Love Story. She writes like she’s having a chat with a friend, with all of her personality coming through.

What’s Your Favourite Can’t Leave The House Activity?

Connecting with people through blogging and social media. I don’t have a smart phone, so can’t do this out of the house, unless I’m in a free wi-fi area. I want to be fully engaged in the moment outside the house anyway.

A Book You’ve Been Meaning to Read?

The Velveteen Rabbit. I watched a cartoon film of it as a little kid and it was the first story that made me feel a crazy amount of emotions. “Whaaaaaaah!” “Yaaaaaaaaay!”

An Intimidating Book on Your TBR?

The last two books in the Otherworld series by Tad Williams. It’s very thick and pretty trippy and also disturbing in places so it was giving me vivid, hyper-real dreams of that nature. So literally and literary intimidating!

Top Three Books on Your TBR?

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (prequel to film Practical Magic)

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas (an urban drama about an up and coming female rapper)

Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin (Patti Smith loves this book)

Recommend a Short Book

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley. A gritty neo-noir detective novel, covering race, the American dream, status, trust and self respect.

Recommend a Long Book

His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. An amazing multi-layered story. The film and TV adaptation missed out entire plot lines which were vital to understanding the thing as a whole. Please just read the book instead.

Something You’d Love to Do While Stuck at Home? 

Get into baking but have someone else shop for ingredients, take it out of the hot oven and then tidy up and wash up afterward. So I’d be chucking stuff into a bowl, mixing and awkwardly rolling/folding and messily filling/icing, all the fun stuff basically! I’m heavily playing the Dyspraxia and chronic fatigue card here aren’t I, hehee!

What Book Do You Plan on Reading Next?

A comedy-drama about three more-mature women going on a road trip together through Italy, having fun and discovering lots of surprises about themselves and each other. Can’t for the life of me remember who it’s by or what it’s called! It’s my light summer read for when I’m brain fogged in the heat (appropriate vague answer then I guess).

Hope you found my (slightly random) answers interesting. I’m not tagging anyone as I don’t want them to feel pressured in this weirdest of times, so if you want to join in, then just join in!

Tag me in your post so I can have a read of your answers and please make sure you mention the original creator Ellyn (link above).

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Featuring – Callybo Creations

Abi at Callybo Creations creates cute key rings and bracelets, with uplifting and loving messages. Just the thing that someone might really appreciate right now. All profits are donated to Mind UK the charity which supports mental health.

Here are two I got sent for review and then later purchased/donated because most of us need a helping hand with our mental health at some point in our lives so it’s a vital charity to support. I gave the key ring to my Dad and the bracelet to my Bloke, both of whom thought it was a lovely surprise.

Hop on over to Facebook to request and buy your perfect Callybo Creations.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Trying to Get Naturally Healthy Skin in Just One Month – Week 4

Products

  • The Body Shop, Vitamin C, Cleansing Polish
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Micellar Cleanser
  • Pixi! Glow Tonic if at home or The Ordinary, Lactic Acid
  • Ecologue Bamboo Face Pads
  • The Body Shop, Vitamin C Moisturiser
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Rosehip Oil

On the rare days I wear makeup I use the Vit C Daily Glow (by foaming it up, rather than massaging with the scrubby bits). I only use the Pixi Glycolic or The Ordinary Lactic Acids every other day. I use the micellar cleanser, moisturiser and oil everyday. Read previous weeks routine and diary

Monday

Did full skincare routine. Forgot oil before bed last night but still looking quite radiant this morning.

Samosa for dinner and big bowl of Daal (lentil curry) and oat cakes for tea.

Tuesday

Used The Ordinary Lactic Acid, moisturiser and lots of oil today.

I woke up feeling so thirsty and wanted hydrating foods so Saag Aloo (spinach and potato) with rice for lunch and aubergine curry for tea (and a random samosa for super).

Wednesday

When I woke up my skin felt and looked like I didn’t need to do any skincare at all! Still did my routine though. My lips are really smooth and nourished as well (I think it’s the oil).

Had four beers but hydrated before and after drinking.

Thursday

My skin was dry, so more inside and outside hydration was needed.

Had a salad for dinner with shredded carrot and beetroot, cucumber, ice berg lettuce and seeds and cashew nuts, had mushroom Satay for tea.

Friday

My skin felt quite grainy and looking quite matte so I applied Pixi Glow Tonic, left it on for 15 minutes, rinsed it off with a wet face pad and then moisturised. Much better!

Having a drink again tonight so I’ve eaten a big salad and replaced my coffee with a nut milk protein smoothie instead. Left my Rosehip oil by the bed to remind me to use it.

Saturday

Considering I ate a huge bread crumb coated veggie burger with spicy curly fries (certainly not wheat free) I’m impressed with how I look just after waking up today. A bit pink, rather than red, my skin isn’t really dry and I don’t have loads of water retention at the side of my nose, chin or eye bags, like I normally would after drinking and having wheat. Draining massage everyday when applying skincare really does work!

Sunday

Here I am (with no product on my skin) in the one bit of week sunshine we had that day, before it disappeared behind clouds again. My skin would have needed a filter to look anywhere near this smooth and radiant a month before!

The Conclusion of my Month Long Challenge

Positive Changes

It feels great to just be able to casually take a no-makeup selfie, without reaching for the foundation and even then, deleting so many rubbish shots. I also leave the house bare faced now and with confidence because I know people won’t be staring at my puffy, blotchy face anymore but wondering instead how I look so glowy, when it’s not even sunny!

What I’ve Learned

  • Oil can balance oily skin as long as you find the right oil for your skin and use it at the right time of day/night
  • What you put inside of your body has a huge effect on the outside, it might just take several days or weeks to notice, which can be confusing so keep a diary.
  • Before you touch your face for any reason make sure you wash your hands first. I always forget this when applying makeup, usually because I’m in a hurry or being spontaneous.
  • Yes, you should cleanse your skin in the evening but don’t beat yourself up if you forget now and then.
  • Get used to you! Your face maybe having a bad day but that’s life and you’re still you behind it. After all, it’s your personality that’s he point!
  • All of this facial massage and staying hydrated and getting enough sleep advice actually does work, if you stick with it.
  • The Realistic Road to Success

    If you don’t have, or are already on top of a medical/allergy related skincare concern (for me it was spots, oil and a huge amount of redness in the past), then yes, it is possible to get naturally healthier looking and skin in a month! It does take patience to find the right skincare routine and diet for you and the tenacity to stick to it though.

    Do you think my experiment over the past month might help you?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Spring Cleaning My Makeup & Storage

    Before doing this I did have a great makeup bag but my makeup was just randomly squashed into it, the kind of squashed where you open it and it all falls out.

    I had no idea just how much makeup I actually had and what it was. Loads of eye makeup, yet no mascara!?

    Keeping

    Below is everything I’ve saved and wow, there are some gorgeous colours in there that I’d totally forgotten about.

    Chucking

    Below is everything I’ve chucked as it was either too old, too messy or the formulation never worked for me.

    Storing

    I wiped down my bag inside and out and moved the zip pocket from the middle, over to one side. Now it holds up my pallets and contains my eye and lip liners. I put my lippies in the gathered pockets and my eyeshadows and lipgloss in the main compartment. Now I can finally see everything!

    I’ve decided I have enough makeup (eyeshadow & liners basically) to wear the ‘fancy’ stuff every time I go out, anywhere. Lots of cheerful colour – yay!

    Any suggestions for a cruelty free mascara?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    What Happened When I Didn’t Wash My Hair for 2 Months

    I hate the idea of going to the (considerable) effort of washing my hair…until I’m actually sat in the shower feeling all relaxed, wondering what the hell I was making a fuss about. Being on lock down with The Bloke who only has a bath (and Juses shower gel instead of shampoo and conditioner as he has a shaved head) was the perfect excuse. “I can’t wash my natural hair with shower gel, it will turn to frizzy straw, I’ll just have to wait.” The fact, he could have bought some from the local shop, along with the bread and milk, thankfully wasn’t mentioned.

    So the challenge began!

    Me with freshly washed hair before lockdown

    I oiled my hair when it was wet but didn’t bother to ‘twist-out’ my curls into shape so it dried into very thin wavy curls like ramen noodles. It was quite frizzy in places as I didn’t add any curl cream. That’s my natural hair after washing.

    Week 1-2

    Curls loosing any definition but turning into thick waves. Looking rather frizzy and dry but surprisingly shiny.

    Week 3-4

    Getting more natural oils back and looking nice and smooth with defined waves, apart from slight fluffy bits at the front.

    Week 5-6

    Looks and feels really healthy. Not dry or greasy in any way.

    Week 7-8

    I’ve been really pleased with how smooth, defined and healthy looking my waves have been the last month but alas, it’s getting greasy at the roots now. Could be fixed with dry shampoo but it feels heavy and it’s itchy. I need clarifying shampoo (stuff with SLS in) and a deep conditioner ASAP!

    Conclusion

    When I wear my hair down in winter, I love my natural kinky curls, which are only reactivated by soaking it in the shower. So I’ll co-wash often and then only use shampoo every three weeks.

    When I finally washed and conditioned my hair it felt smoother and silkier than I’d ever felt it! Maybe giving it a chance to reset every so often is a great idea!

    Let me know what you think in the comments.

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Trying to get Naturally Healthy Skin in Just One Month – Week 3

    I’ve realised that the first two weeks were about finding the best products for the job and how best to use them. See week 2 here.

    On the rare days I wear makeup I use the Vit C Daily Glow (by foaming it up, rather than massaging with the scrubby bits). I only use the Pixi Glycolic or The Ordinary Lactic Acids every other day. I use the micellar cleanser, moisturiser and oil everyday.

    • The Body Shop, Vitamin C, Cleansing Polish
    • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Micellar Cleanser
    • Pixi! Glow Tonic if at home or The Ordinary, Lactic Acid
    • Ecologue Bamboo Face Pads
    • The Body Shop, Vitamin C Moisturiser
    • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Rosehip Oil

    Monday

    I can see that I’ll be sticking to the above skincare routine from now on as there’s everything I need but it’s still nice and simple. My skin is looking slightly radiant even when I’m not standing in full sun, which is a first. Had crackers and ‘cheese’ with caramelised onion for dinner. Salt and pepper tofu for tea with chilli oil.

    Tuesday

    Had quite a few beers in the evening and forgot to take my makeup off because I forgot I was wearing any. Doh! Had veggies and cashews in black bean sauce with egg fried rice for tea. At least that was healthy!

    Wednesday

    Even though the Rosehip oil doesn’t smell great, I prefer it to the rose scent my other oils/balms have and it’s supposed to even out the texture of skin and really nourish it. We’ll see!

    Spicy beans, falafel, iceberg lettuce, humus, Violife ‘cheese’ chunks, peanuts and lime pickle for a picnic type tea.

    Thursday

    The Body Shop Vit C Cleanser removes makeup so easily and leaves my skin so soft and moisturised. Never had a cleanser as good as that before! Had mushroom and onion stir fry with Satay sauce for tea.

    Friday

    Making a bigger effort to drink enough water, not just energy drink and ‘milky’ coffees. Skin feeling very grainy today as I’ve not used either of the exfoliating acids for the last two days. So doing full skincare routine today.

    Had kebab strips with rice, sweet corn, peas and green beans with Soy sauce for dinner and then with chilly oil for tea.

    Saturday

    Before, when I’d massage in any skincare my face would get so flushed it would stay red for about 30 minutes but now it doesn’t react at all! After weeks of massaging it looks more toned, with a lot less water retention.

    Sunday

    To sum up at the end of the third week

    • A lot less redness
    • Less puffy and more toned
    • Actually radiant
    • Smoother
    • Balanced so it’s not going from dry when I wake up to slightly greasy on my T-zone before bed anymore.
  • Free-from pesto and pasta for tea.
  • If anyone has any tips, recommendations, or opinions, I’d love to hear them!

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤